Ask the pilot: RAF Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4

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(All images in article Copyright Eurofighter)

Which aircraft do you fly and with which unit, how many do you hours do you have on type? I fly the Eurofighter Typhoon as the Executive Officer on II(AC) Sqn and have 860 hours on type. What were you first impressions of flying the Typhoon? The thrust that the Typhoon has is ferocious, something that I don’t personally think you ever get used to though the G Force is brutal. The fact that you can ‘back stick’ the controls and know that the aircraft will limit the G means that you can pull straight to 9 G and trust me – that hurts every single time!  Which three words best describe the Typhoon? Agile, Powerful, Lethal Do the canards obscure the view down? Only slightly, but if you need to see beneath them then you can just roll upside down!
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Copyright Eurofighter

How useful is the helmet and how often is it used? What is it used for? The Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS) is exceptional and very useful for all sorts of war fighting. It can be used to see any target or friendly aircraft by using the same symbology that is in the HUD. It is effectively an extension of the HUD which means that you have all the information required wherever you are looking. For Air to Ground missions you have the ability to simply look outside at where a target is then cue the weapon system to look there with the Litening Designator Pod. Due to this capability it means that after identifying a target, you can drop a Paveway IV, 500-lb precision weapon on it in seconds. What was your most notable mission and why? Please see diary entry  Which new piece of equipment would you most like to see integrated on Typhoon? Soon we will have the Brimstone missile integrated onto the Typhoon which will provide a precision targeting capability with reduced collateral effects. Storm Shadow and Meteor are also just around the corner. What are the best and worst things about the Typhoon? The best thing about the Typhoon is it’s Specific Excess Power (SEP) and the worst would be how quickly you burn fuel when you are in reheat! Tell me something I don’t know about the aircraft?  Ha ha, no can’t do because that would most likely be classified! hhh.png I have been told that nothing can out-climb the Typhoon, would you agree? Absolutely, the SEP of the Typhoon is unmatched. What’s the best way to defeat an F-16 in within visual range fight? How difficult is it as an opponent? The Typhoon is a superior fighter within visual range though we must always remember that we are not fighting the aircraft but the pilot. Which aircraft have you trained against, which was the hardest opponent and why? I fought a Top Gun instructor out of Nellis Air Force base and he was in an F-16. I was not very experienced at the time though managed to defeat him – he did, however, make it very difficult!
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What’s your favourite piece of equipment on the Typhoon and why? The HMSS because it really makes you feel part of the aircraft. It is awesome when everything is working in harmony. It has been said that Typhoon is less proficient at High Alpha fighting than the Hornet and Flanker/Fulcrum series, is this true and, if so, is it an issue in the close-in fight? A consequence of high Alpha is low speed. Any fighter pilot worth their salt knows that speed is life in close combat. Typhoon’s excess power coupled with +9G ‘carefree handling’ gives us the advantage. On exercise, Typhoon has repeatedly demonstrated that it can exploit this advantage against the Hornet, ‘Fulcrum’ and ‘Flanker’. Jaden-Shillingford.jpg What is the greatest myth about the aircraft? Not sure of any myths to be honest ….. What should I have asked you? What is it like to fly a Performance Departure where you go straight up on take off? It is a bizarre feeling every time we carry out this departure from the airfield, though it always reminds me of the raw power of the aircraft.  How good is the Typhoon at super-cruising and how often does this occur? The Typhoon is very effective at super-cruising and it does often occur as the tactical situation dictates. Does Typhoon offer anything not provided by the teen series? In my opinion, we all have different things that we can bring to the fight and that is why we all work together as a team! Has the RAF enough Typhoons? (personal opinion) Our resources are very stretched due to commitments to Operations and engagements all over the world so, yes, I certainly think that we could do with more Typhoons to match these broad commitments.

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  1. Chris Kohler

    I really don’t get why the Typhoon gets shat on so much by military tech nerds. It is a great aircraft, pretty much the ultimate energy fighter and anyone who knows anything about air combat should be able to recognize that. What is especially annoying and ridiculous is all this “it is just a 5th generation fighter” talk. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Is it me, am I wrong about the definition of the word “generation”, or are the people saying this shit really so dumb that they think just because the Typhoon doesn’t outwardly look as “science fiction ish” as the F-22 or the F-35. means it is suddenly part of the previous generation of fighters, even though it was developed at the same time as those “6th generation” fighters and has pretty much all the same high tech gear and abilities?

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  3. Matthew

    I wish you would have asked about how he rates the Rafale. If you ever ask a Typhoon pilot again, please do so. I just read the interview with the Rafale guy and I would like to the an EF response (I doubt Typhoon is easy to shoot down).

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